Former San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who fell five votes short of election last year, and former Angels and Montreal Expos outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, who fell 15 votes short, head a group of 14 returnees.
The results of the election will be announced Jan. 24.
Jones, the 1999 National League most valuable player, is the only switch-hitter to hit 400 home runs with a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage. Jones, an eight-time All-Star, played all of his 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves.
Thome hit 612 home runs, ranking eighth on the all-time list. The five-time All-Star played for six teams in his 22 seasons, including 17 homerless at-bats for the Dodgers in 2009.
The Angels’ Albert Pujols, still active, has hit 614 home runs. The only other players ranking among the top 15 in home runs who are not in the Hall of Fame have been associated with the use of performance-enhancing substances: Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa, who return to the Hall of Fame ballot this year; Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, who were dropped from the ballot after garnering too few votes, and Alex Rodriguez, who is not yet eligible for the ballot.
McGwire also was bypassed by a Hall of Fame veterans’ committee last year.
Bonds, the only seven-time MVP, and Roger Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young Award winner, each got 54% of the vote last year. Each is in his sixth year on the ballot; no player remains on the ballot after 10 years.
The only returnees to get more than 50% of the vote last year: Hoffman (74%), Guerrero (72%), designated hitter Edgar Martinez (59%), Bonds (54%), Clemens (54%) and pitcher Mike Mussina (52%). Players must get 75% of the vote for election.
More than 400 veteran members of the Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America cast the votes. The Times does not allow its writers to vote.
The full ballot is here.
Shohei Ohtani deadline extended
The Major League Baseball Players Assn. said it would extend until Tuesday its discussions over a posting agreement that would enable Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to fulfill his desire to play in the major leagues next season.
The posting agreement governs how players can move from Japan's top professional league to MLB. The old agreement has expired; the union's deadline is self-imposed.
Freeway Series set
The traditional weekend Freeway Series that ends spring training is a weekend series no more.
With the 2018 season starting Thursday, March 29, the Dodgers and Angels will play the Freeway Series on Sunday, March 25 at Angel Stadium, and Monday, March 26 and Tuesday, March 27 at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers traded pitcher Josh Ravin to Atlanta for “cash considerations” and lost pitcher Grant Dayton to the Braves on a waiver claim. … The Dodgers added pitchers Trevor Oaks and Dennis Santana to their 40-man roster. … The Angels added pitchers Jaime Barria, Jesus Castillo and Jake Jewell and outfielder Michael Hermosillo to their 40-man roster. … Players on the 40-man roster cannot be selected by another team in next month's Rule 5 draft.
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